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Going into Mousa at night is a completely different and unique experience compared to going in on a day trip. Landing in the summer dusk at 11pm feels slightly eery and the island has a more mysterious feel.
Once ensconced on the island, we took the short walk to the broch where we saw the latest addition to the isle – a wooden bench which sits on the 60° North latitude line. Rodney, skipper of the Mousa Boat, and a very good friend of mine, built it using driftwood which washed ashore on the island during last winter's gales.
Driftwood has always been important to Shetlanders. We live in an almost treeless landscape, and I believe it's ingrained into every one of us to squirrel away every last piece “in case it comes in handy”. A walk along the shoreline proves this as there are numerous piles of wood of varying sizes and quality 'laid up above the tideline' to be collected at a later date for some project or another and, despite best intentions, this 'later date' often never comes. That said, it's still an unwritten rule here in Shetland that wood laid up above the tideline must be left for the gatherer to collect, even if it has been there so long that it has started growing a fine coat of moss, or that it has been there for all of living memory and has begun the long process of rotting back into the ground. The wood is sacred and should be left well alone. However, rules of the shoreline over, back to the bench...
Mousa lies on the 60° North line, meaning that it is on the same latitude as St Petersburg, Helsinki, Oslo, parts of Alaska and Labrador Bay and, given the choice of any of those exotic destinations, there is nowhere else in the world I would have rather been on that particular Wednesday evening.
Approaching the 2,000-year-old broch was very atmospheric, it was shrouded in mist, giving a real air of mystery and intrigue.
So, for anyone who is still in doubt, I suggest a midnight trip to Mousa, and for those who just wish to experience the best that Shetland has to offer during the Simmer Dim (or midsummer), then I would highly recommend a trip to see the stormy petrels in Mousa.
Booking for this trip is essential and can be done here.
A little about Laurie
Hello, and welcome to my blog. I hope that you find what you're looking for, whether you are planning that perfect holiday or maybe you're from Shetland and looking for some inspiration. Hopefully, there is something here for everyone.